At the meeting, I was told that my daughter's referral for the EBD program was unusual and atypical because she didn't have all of the necessary elements.
What elements? I asked.
Well, she didn't have a behavior plan or a functional assessment.
Is it MY fault the school never did a behavior plan? And hello?! How many functional assessments does she need? I could have provided about five from private sources. It was right there in her IEP - she thinks like a five year old. *rolls eyes*
Then they told me how she would have to enter at the highest level of restriction and the class only had boys and the teacher is male and she would only be there to stabilize with the goal to reintegrate her to the general education setting again and all of her behaviors are RAD (uh... duh) and and and
When they mentioned that they wanted her to work towards transitioning back to the general classroom the assistant principal interjected with "That better be a SLOW process" *enter my cheeky grin here*
Here's how this monkey game works:
The school knew my daughter needed to be moved out
The bus driver knew it (the asst. principal was late for the meeting because bus driver was writing a D.R. on Sissy)
The resource team knew it.
The EBD teacher that had Sissy in grade school knew it.
The EBD teacher that evaluated her for the middle school program knew it.
The EBD referral specialist knew it.
The catch? No one could out and out say, "uh. yeah. This kid is a mess. A liability. We can't handle this. But we have to cover our butts and not actually say that because then mom could sue us."
So they paint the picture as though MOM is the bad guy, demanding a referral and placement into a program that on paper, my daughter isn't qualified for. And then they ask, "So is this what you want for your child?"
Are you prepared to sign and accept the restrictions this entails?
Is your daughter aware of this change?
Then they called Sissy into the meeting. (She had been outside the school office door at 7 am pacing and demanding to be allowed to attend). And my daughter sat next to me and began to talk. In five minutes every adult was hiding their giggles and biting their lips so Sissy wouldn't think she was being picked on. At one point Sissy got angry and started shouting that we needed to stop laughing at her and several adults chimed in and said it was how she said it that was funny, not what she was saying and in all of those giggles, papers were passed around and signed without further ado and badda boom badda bing, she was enrolled as an EBD student.
She started the new class last Monday. She was stealing and pushing limits with the EBD teacher by Wednesday.
When I spoke with the bus driver about her DR later, I told him that she could be back later this year because the school said it was a stabilization placement with the plan to reintegrate her. Bus driver laughed. "She won't be back!"
OK. So if the BUS DRIVER knows my daughter can't handle general education, what's the big to do all about then?
It's a liability thing. Bottom line. School doesn't want to get sued. Because I COULD be the mom that says that her poor little child darling needs the same privileges as every other student and that she shouldn't be discriminated against because of her disability. Because I COULD be a chameleon that says one thing and then turns around and slaps them with a lawsuit that would render the county penniless.
I'm not that kind of mom.
I know what my daughter needs.
My daughter knows what she needs.
Her home behaviors were still rough this past week, due in large part to transition issues but right now she's happy as a lark, being compliant and sweet and tomorrow is another school week. Hang in there mommas. Don't let the system win. Don't let them make you back down.